TUNIS, February 17, 2011 (AFP) – Deposed Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is “in a coma” in a Saudi hospital following a stroke, a family friend told AFP on Thursday. The 74-year-old former leader slipped into a coma “two days ago” while being treated in a Jeddah hospital after suffering a stroke, according to the friend. AFP. “He had a stroke, and his condition is serious,” he said. Ben Ali and his family fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 after a popular uprising ended his 23-year grip on power in the north African country. Earlier, a spokesman for the interim government that replaced Ben Ali’s regime would neither confirm nor deny the reports that the ex-president was in hospital. Tunisia’s Le Quotidien newspaper reported Thursday that Ben Ali had suffered a stroke. We will bring you more details on this story as we get them.
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